Sure, when we think of heart health, aspects like intense cardio workouts come to mind. However, how can those of us with disabilities or conditions, including those of us who are aging, maintain – and even improve – our heart health? It’s easier and more practical than one may think.
Sleeping Your Way to a Healthier Heart
Indeed, increased heart health can be as easy as sleeping. Studies show that sleeping around 7 hours per night reduces calcium in arteries and heart disease. The quality of sleep, matters, too, so if you can get a truly sound 7 hours of sleep, you’re dramatically improving your heart health. Now that’s wonderful news!
View Your Weight Not Just From a Mirror, But From Your Heart
Weight is a physical, mental and emotional battle for many. It also weighs on your heart – literally. Speak with your doctor about your weight, and get a true diagnosis on whether your weight is appropriate. For most who are moderately overweight, losing just 5% can dramatically not only improve heart health, but decrease cholesterol. hypertension, and diabetes. This means for a 5’9” male, who ideally should weigh in the 170 lb. range, at 200 lbs., losing merely 10 pounds has a very positive effect on heart health, according to the American Medical Association.
Fuel Your Heart the Right Way
We often think of how our diet effects areas of our health. However, our hearts are the engines that power our bodies – and they, too, benefit from nutrition. Specifically, an easy way to note what best feeds our hearts are natural foods that grow. In the grocery store, this means staying away from packaged items, and looking toward fruits, vegetables and nuts. Additionally, if you’re out at a restaurant, according to WebMD, skip the steaks and pasta and look to the fish. Salmon, in particular, is rich with omega-3 fatty acids that have an anti-clogging effect, keeping blood flowing optimally to your heart.
Your Heart Likes to Pump
Among the best ways to keep our hearts healthy is by using them beyond a resting state. Put simply, our hearts like when we move and make them work a bit. Exercise is a key to this, but in very liberal terms. Based on disability, condition or age, many have limitations when it comes to “exercise.” However, whatever movement we can do is very advantageous to heart health and getting our vascular system flowing. Specialized exercise machines are available, designed for those of us who are not able to stand to exercise in the ways we traditionally think of. Check out the upper and lower body Ergometers from Endorphin, and available at SpinLife.com . Always consult a physician before attempting any exercise program, but they can range from simple arm movements to as intense as handcycling for wheelchair users. Movement is the key, and it varies by individual.
Heart Health to a Natural Beat
We’ve all seen extremes when it comes to heart health, from triathletes to countless so-called supplements. However, the medical community proves that, regardless of disability, condition or age, there are very practical, everyday steps we can take toward better heart health – right down to how much we sleep, eat and move.